For one week this summer, he’ll live in a cabin, sing songs in a dining hall and swim in a lake. It’ll pretty much be like every kid’s experience at summer camp.
Forrest Clift isn’t a kid – he’s 41. And he isn’t going to just any summer camp – he’s going to “Camp” Camp.
Founded in 1997, “Camp” Camp is a week-long summer camp for GLBT adults. And when they say “summer camp,” they mean it.
“The purpose we serve is to allow grown ups to be kids for a week,” says Associate Director Susan Clinkenbeard.
“Camp” Camp’s location in southwestern Maine is complete with bunks, a mess hall and a camp store. Campers sign up for activities like pottery, hiking and “Yarn Time.” They also spend the week preparing acts for the Talent/No Talent Show because, let’s face it, camp wouldn’t be camp without skits.
And at night? Campers attend dances, of course. In fact, in addition to insect repellent and seven pairs of underwear, the packing list encourages campers to bring “flashy outfits and costumes” to wear to the evening festivities.
There are a few differences between “Camp” Camp and your regular summer camp, though. For starters, you have to be at least 18 years old to attend. And, unlike the summer camps you remember from childhood, “Camp” Camp doesn’t require campers to participate in activities. You can fill your time with structured events, or spend all day lounging by the lake. And “Camp” Camp prides itself on serving non-camp-like (i.e. good) food.
More importantly, though, the camp provides GLBT adults with an opportunity to socialize outside of the traditional gay scene.
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